To what lying necromancer have I not been a fortune?
In which Propertius, discussing the affliction and folly of love, also defines the relation between debt –
like love, a description of a present condition that insists upon the future constancy of the subject (because “I love you“ means “I will love you forever”, which means “There will continue to be a constant I, which is bound both to the I that loves you now and the you to which it says it,” no matter how much chatter there is about growing and changing together, sure, growing and changing like how the flesh learns to treat a long-ago misplaced fishhook like a small extra bone, the kind found in fish, because fish carry their own barbed nooses inside them, like debts, and they stick in our throat) and therefore becomes a prescription, cursing We don’t forget that to curse has no implied scorn or rage, merely a solemn pronouncement now as to what the future will hold. To sign a name on a dotted line is to curse yourself to being that name the future to be ever and always as if the present: in love, in debt –
and death: For to what lying necromancer have I not been a fortune?
They wanted to blame the bad air, it had been bad recently, it’s true, worse than normal & in those days it was generally understood as smog, so much worse than either locusts or normal fog, until it came time for the autopsy & opening his mouth as one does with a lost golem found wandering & glassy-eyed outside the precinct, they laid him out on the table & down into him & choked & coughed as it billowed out, because there, nesting inside his lungs, was a grey & wholly self-stoked bonfire of time, it was fed by an endlessly compounding pile of predictions as to the precise date of his death, although the manner of it was not written anywhere to be found nor would it ever be, not even when the debt collectors came later in their beige coats & signed the release form to collect the roughly 14 pounds of smoke worth salvaging from the fire.